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Woman at centre of bitter same-sex custody battle victim of ‘hoax’ accusing her of selling coronavirus food rations

Lily Wakefield April 28, 2020
custody case lesbian targeted by hoax

The last time the Vermont Army National Guard distributed emergency food was after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty)

A lesbian at the centre of a high-profile custody case was the victim of a “hoax” that falsely claimed she was selling emergency coronavirus food rations.

According to the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Janet Jenkins was the target of a viral post which claimed to show Facebook screenshots of her selling Meals Ready to Eat, or MREs, distributed locally by the Vermont Army National Guard.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Vermont Foodbank, and aims to distribute free emergency food to those left vulnerable because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hoax claimed that Jenkins was making money out of free emergency food rations during the coronavirus pandemic. (WCAX)

According to Vermont State Police, the post has been characterised as a “harassment incident” intentionally targeting Jenkins.

They added: “Through investigation, the state police learned that the individual in question was not the author of the post, had no involvement with the Guard’s MRE program, and was the victim of targeted harassment.”

The mayor of Rutland, Vermont, even shared the post, believing it to be true, before later deleting it. Mayor David Allaire said: “I’m very sorry this happened… I hope they catch the person that’s responsible for that hoax.”

Jenkins’s attorney added: “This is a very difficult time for all families and it is despicable that someone would target Janet in this manner and at this time.”

Janet Jenkins fought a fierce custody battle over her daughter, who was kidnapped by her “ex-lesbian” former partner.

Jenkins made headlines when she and her former partner, Lisa Ann Miller, fought a bitter custody battle over their daughter Isabella.

Jenkins and Miller split up in 2004 when Miller joined a radical Christian church and renounced her sexuality. Believing homosexuality to be a sin, Miller sought to retain custody of Isabella, but Jenkins was awarded custody of her daughter by a Virginia court in 2009, after years of bitter legal disputes.

Just weeks after the 2009 custody decision, Miller secretly fled to Nicaragua with a seven-year-old Isabella, with help from anti-LGBT+ Christian activists.

Three anti-LGBT+ Christians – Virginia businessman Philip Zodhiates, Mennonite pastor Kenneth Miller (no relation) and pastor Timothy Miller (also no relation) – have since been found guilty of being involved in the kidnapping, but Isabella and her “ex-lesbian” mother have never been found. 

More: Coronavirus, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, Janet Jenkins, kidnapping, Lisa Miller, Vermont

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